County offers deluge of information to stay safe during floods

October 13, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 1 p.m. Oct. 13, 2010

Before seasonal rain starts to soak the region, leaders joined together to remind King County residents of the potential for floods, and to mark Flood Awareness Month.

The county established a system 40 years ago to alert floodplain residents to danger.

“It is a credit to our leaders a half a century ago to understand the need, particularly in light of the increased demand to develop land for neighborhoods and business areas, for the county’s first flood warning system,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release.

Leaders reminded residents in flood-prone areas to take steps to prepare for nasty winter weather and to sign up for automated flood alerts.

The county Flood Warning Program uses sophisticated technology to receive, analyze and interpret data about river levels and flood conditions in near real-time for citizens, partner cities and others.

In 2007, officials formed the King County Flood Control District to provide a regional approach to flooding, and to upgrade almost 500 aging and inadequate flood-protection facilities.

Floodplain residents should also make a plan and a kit in event of emergency. The kit should include a portable battery-powered radio, flashlight, fresh batteries, cooking equipment, nonperishable food, drinking water, medications and a first aid kit. Learn more about emergency kit essentials here.

The county also recommends for resident to buy flood insurance as soon possible, because a policy takes 30 days to go into effect. Learn more about flood insurance here.

The county Flood Warning Center opens after floodwaters reach a certain threshold. Staffers man the center around-the-clock to monitor river gages, weather data, dam operations and road closures.

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